I got scared he would fall and my first reaction was to grab him…
In Bangkok, there are many boats that are used as public transportation. And security standards are almost non-existent. At the back of the boat, where people get in and out, there is a single rope meant to “prevent from falling”. When the boat docks, the sailor removes the rope, jumps ashore and – while holding the rope – tries to keep the boat stable asking the people to get out as quickly as possible and then the others to get on, as quickly as possible. But the water is rough because of the traffic and there is only one solution: try to leave or get on the boat as quickly as possible and without falling!
We were just there as an elderly monk lost his balance with the boat shaking and started to head towards the rope in question. I got scared he would fall and my first reaction was to grab him. But I was quickly pushed away by a man who took matters in his own hands. He saved the monk who remained safe and sound on the boat. And the Thai came back to see me and said bluntly: «Women don’t touch monks».
I didn’t reply anything, of course, but I was so angry I turned bright red. Mine was just a genuine reaction: helping out this man… but no… I am a woman, so impure that it is better for me to let a monk fall in the water!!! Aaaarg.